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Top 5 Rural News Stories from Last Week (April 7, 2024)

Another round of HPAI cases in poultry and dairy cattle plague Michigan producers, updates on the Kansas wildfires, and other top rural news stories from last week.

This week’s RURAL WRAP-UP covers the week of April 8-14, 2024.

For a list of today’s top headlines, check out the RURAL RUNDOWN.


U.S. cattle herd liquidation impacts beef demand markets

The smallest cattle herd in the U.S. since 1951 has led to tighter beef supplies, which is not the best for international beef demand. Herd liquidation has also had an impact on domestic markets.

CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion Board Greg Hanes explains why “building demand for beef isn’t a one-year job,” and the positive impacts of the Checkoff programs to push global beef demand to a 30-year high.



New traceability standards on the way for pork products

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is working with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to develop new traceability standards for pork products to combat foreign animal disease outbreaks. We spoke with former NPPC President Scott Hays last Thursday on the Market Day Report to learn more about the technology and when producers can expect its implementation.



Prescribed burn triggers wildfires in Kansas

What began as a prescribed burn — an effort to control invasive plants, encourage new prairie growth, and prevent wildfires — quickly became uncontrollable due to the ongoing drought in Kansas and spawned wildfires that spread rapidly.

As of last Thursday, firefighters were working to combat three fires active wildfires in Kansas that had burned nearly 15,000 acres. Currently, two of those fires are 90% contained and the third has been contained.



Not So Sweet: Texas’ only sugar mill is closing its doors

Mexico recently failed to uphold its end of a water deal with south Texas, and the fallout is already impacting American agriculture — so far, resulting in the closure of the State’s only sugar mill still in operation.



Michigan confirms first HPAI outbreak in poultry flock of 2024

Over the weekend, APHIS confirmed another major case of High-Path Avian Flu in a Michigan poultry flock. This case involves nearly 2 million birds, and it happened at a facility between Grand Rapids and Lansing. In the previous week, an HPAI outbreak was also confirmed in Michigan dairy cattle.

Since the poultry case was confirmed last week, new cases of HPAI have been found in three more Michigan dairy herds.


Marion is a digital content manager for RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel. She started working for Rural Media Group in May 2022, bringing a decade of experience in the digital side of broadcast media as well as some professional cooking experience to the team.